15 November 2006

'Macbeth'



















I had cause to gives thanks to the god of video on the weekend when I came across a DVD of the famous 1976 production of ‘Macbeth’ produced by Trevor Nunn, starring Judi Dench and Ian McKellen.

I have always wanted to see this production ever since I glimpsed a short clip on a documentary, and those few harrowing seconds were enough.

Lady Macbeth is in torment. She enters hollow-eyed and gaunt with lack of sleep and suffering. She stares sightless into a lit candle.

What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power
to account?--Yet who would have thought the old man
to have had so much blood in him?

Here's the smell of the blood still:
all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten
this little hand.

She screams in grief, a sound which starts in the back of her throat and rises to a wail of agony as she moves in an arc, clutching her whole body in a rictus of constricted pain. It is a study of sustained breath control, with the human voice nothing but an open channel of emotion.


The film is lean; nothing but the actors, and the voice. Shakespeare after Beckett.

1 comment:

I am the Queen of F*%&ING EVERYTHNG...OK!! said...

Have not seen this version, after Polanskis interpretation ;which I believe he directed after his wife was murdered by the Mason cult;nothing could compare to the anguish, loss,heartwrenchingly sense of the a mind at the edge that was portrayed in that version. I hated the violent content but it adds to the futility of it all.